Friday, June 27, 2008

No Raccoon MTN but there is Bethlehem-Madison

Got a call from the baby-sitter last night at 11pm saying she will be leaving town Saturday instead of Monday so there went the highly anticipated Raccoon Mountain MTB race and my debut riding the SS in the expert class.

So, I decided to take out my frustration by doing 78 miles today from Bethlehem, GA to Madison, GA and back. I made a wrong turn so I added some extra miles onto a 74 mile course. It is primarily flat with some nice rollers periodically, the tough stretch along "Confederate St." leading to Rutledge, GA and then the hard hills through Hard Labor State Park. There seemed to always be a headwind today and even though there were a thousand clouds in the sky, not one had the decency to cover up the sun. The route is all pretty exposed to the heat takes its toll and by the end I was pretty fried.

I covered the 78 miles at a nice 20.7 mph clip and my average power was a meager 206w (226w NP). So, about 3:50 in terms of ride time. I got stung by 2 bees which goes back to the debate on wearing underlayers in the summer. One drawback is that a bee/wasp can hit your underlayer and then get caught between it and your skin. It is my 3rd sting this week.

Knowing jury duty is looming I tried to get in a big riding week and I succeeded with 14 hours and 237 miles.

At about mile 75 I stopped at "The Store" near Monroe, GA. Four ancient dickheads who always seem to be sitting out front and always with something to say started going on to me about how my bike should have a license plate. It was a clear provocation, but they obviously underestimated how big of an asshole usually I am (just ask anyone) so I agreed with them and said that roads are for cars and I am only fortunate enough to share it with them. Those douchebags had nothing more to say but I am sure they are still sitting there going on about cornholing and such. I hate that place.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

With possible jury duty next week I am trying to get in as much riding as I can this week. I actually did some threshold intervals this week and they went well. I am assuming without any formal testing that my ftp is around 300w right now. Racing has helped this and after this weekend no more racing until possibly the Gwinnett Fest Road Atlanta race and maybe the Saturday road race in 4 weeks and then maybe the GA State TT champs in August, then finally the SS champs in September. I am trying to do 1 race per month.

I am juror pool number 48 which does not bode well for me. Maybe I will get lucky. I hate to not want to be on a jury but I am being selfish. At least I am going. Thousands of folks never show up for their duty day and are never caught. Good for me.

I picked up some new cross wheels for this fall. They are Ksyrium SSC SL and came mounted with Dugast Rhino tubulars. They are not the top of the line wheels but I think they will last and perform well. I fell out of love with carbon deep dish bling wheels after my nationals experience.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sanibel was a great time. Besides the swimming and the ocean, there is great sea kayaking there in the mangroves. North of Sanibel is a small island called Captiva which is a hidden gem. Here is the bike loop if anyone is ever there on vacation.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

On vacation at Sanibel Island, FL. Took my bike and there is a nice flat 27 mile loop here which is actually pretty hard. No elevation change but windy, hot and humid. Hopefully my bike/components won't get eaten by the salt.

Very sparse crowd, nice shelly beaches, and pretty good food. A nice vacation spot.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Issaqueena MTB Race

Drove up to Clemson today for the SERC Issaqueena MTB race in the SS class. We started at 9:30 which was a bonus considering the heat of the day would be later. I was hoping to put in a good effort and was interested in the long climb at the end of each lap. What surprised me was the small steep climbs in the middle of the race.

I had a good start and was soon off with Michael Scholtz (NCCX). I led about 1/2 a lap until my saddle bag dropped into my rear wheel. Michael was nice enough to sit up in time for me to fix it and we were off again. One of the disappointing things about the GCS/SERC series line-ups is starting the expert women in front of the SS. It is a frustrating thing for both groups since we usually catch them and have to bother them about passing. Today was no different and as we came upon 4 women on a hill, Michael was able to pass but then the line collapsed for me. I asked to pass but the women were having a tough time on the hill as well. With the SS, momentum is on your side so when it is lost you have to dismount and run. There was no other choice on this climb. I had to do this and eventually passed them but gave up the race lead with Michael. Now doomed to second, I did my best to hold that position.

I was able to climb the finishing hill no problem and it was not really a huge factor. I think Michael would still have beaten me up the climb at the end and won, but I would have like to have played that out instead of getting stuck and losing because I could not pass.

Second is not bad and Michael said he would have waited for me had he known, but that's racing. Tony Angevine also showed a lot of class today by killing me with kindness since our argument about passing a few weeks ago. Thanks Tony!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I had a nice crash today at Yargo because I refuse to wear gloves and my hands get sweaty , hands slide off, and I crash. I am not a big fan of gloves unless it is cold. I am going to have to change that.

I am excited to go up to Clemson this weekend and do the race. It sounds pretty hard but I am wanting to race a few more times this summer. I am going to do the Raccoon Mountain MTB race and then the Gwinnett Fest race at the speedway. After that I am going to attempt to get ready to defend the 40-45 SS State Championship in September. I have been invited to attend Star Crossed in Seattle in September and the Gloucester, Mass. UCI race in October. I have to choose one or the other. I have not heard about the GA Cross Series races but I'll do some of them and possibly one last hurrah at nationals since I have a free place to stay.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


It was a hot one even at 8am. We had around 10 riders and the route was very nice, rural and almost no cars. The pace was around 18mph and everything went smoothly. By 11am it was getting too hot and I'll bet the heat index was around 94 or so. I used to do part of this route starting in Athens with the UGA cycling team. It was one of the winter LSD rides. The climbs out of the Appalachee River are tough and the shake and bake on Gober is rattling but otherwise smooth roads and nice scenery. All in all around 57 miles at 18.4 mph and avg power of 157w.

View Interactive Map on

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Rode today at Blankets Creek MTB trails in Woodstock. The trails are very dry but are exceptional. They are quite challenging and the Dwelling Loop in combination with the South Loop makes around 10 miles.

The gearing of 32x16 was perfect and I felt that I could ride anything there with it. I really don't like drop offs and there are two that I had to look away from but they were fun to try and ignore (I remember some of those drop offs in Moab, Utah--it took all I could to ride past those).

Fun time and my new SS Klein is feeling better and better. Hopefully I will ride in Clemson in 2 weeks and then at Raccoon Mountain. I am going to skip Ellijay.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

TSS Ramp Rate

Most guys using power and WKO+ look at overall CTL and TSB and want CTL to climb higher and higher until they need to taper for a peak event. This means that TSB goes lower and lower (more negative). But there seems to be a fine line in everyone in how fast you can increase your weekly CTL by accumulating training stress each day. According to the wattage forum the range for most folks falls between 3-8 CTL points per week. For example, if my CTL on Monday is 60, then I would have to accumulate blank amount of TSS that week to raise it 8 points to 68 by the end of the week. The point being that after 8 CTL points difference (ramp rate) that week people often get sick.

Guys who are top caliber and rack up 100+ TSS per day can easily over extend and find themselves ill. But, most people using power know themselves and how much stress they can accumulate before this happens.

How do you ramp it up that much? Well you would have to do any type of workout that would give you a significant amount of training stress on average each day to move it blank points.

Right now I am at a CTL of 73 tss/d. If I want to ramp it up to 75 tss/d by this Sunday, I have to average at least 84 tss/d for the 7 days. Depending on workout goals and ride length/intensity this can be accomplished. But if the goal is to increase CTL over a short period of time it is a risk to ramp up at a maximum amount and chance getting sick or burnt out.

In looking back in my log since January, there has only been 1 week where I ramped at 5 CTL/week. Most of the time I ramp at 1-3 CTL/week and sometimes if it is a rest week or I get sick, the ramp rate is negative.

If I want to have a chance to do well in a peak event and understand from previous experience how much CTL I need before a taper, I could map out my CTL ramp rate and TSS/week just like many folks use periodization (base, build, peak) and get to my goal before the event at my pace.

Now throw on top of this being able to increase your FTP over time as well and you have to superimpose the correct workouts.

For example, I raised my FTP last summer for cross season from 300w in June to 315w by September. That is pretty slow and if you look at my log my ramp rate was also really slow. But for me it was based on the amount of time I had to train and what my 41 year old body could do. I was using specific workouts designed to prepare me for cross and the goal was not really maximum CTL before cross season since I trained all season and peaked in December.

Personally, I would like to see my FTP at the same amount but I would like to increase my CTL to 80 by the end of the summer. These are silly statistical goals but fun to experiment.